Data may show the number of COVID-19 cases in Illinois is growing at a slower pace than some projections had forecast, but Gov. J.B. Pritzker said his stay-at-home order will remain in place through the end of the month.
“Our rate of rise is looking less and less exponential, (and) that we are in fact bending the curve,” Pritzker said Thursday afternoon. “The curve is still upward trajectory. Just because we’re bending the curve doesn’t mean bending down yet. People need to understand that it is unlikely that we will be able to lift this stay-at-home order before April 30.”
On Thursday, the Illinois Department of Public Health reported an additional 1,344 cases of COVID-19 in Illinois and 66 deaths, bringing the totals to 16,422 and 528, respectively. Across the state, 81 of Illinois’ 102 counties have been impacted, according to IDPH.
“Keep in mind the case numbers and the death toll are still growing, and thus our fight must continue,” Pritzker said. “If we are improving – and it’s still up in the air – it’s because people are staying at home.”
When people venture outside of their homes, they have the propensity to infect others, he added. “We need you to stay at home. We need to bend this curve and then we can begin to talk about how we open things up a little more.”
But when the stay-at-home order is lifted, don’t expect things to return to normal all at once, he cautioned.
“As we approach April 30, we will be thinking about what are the restrictions and rules we need to set going forward after April 30. … It isn’t going to be all of a sudden you’re going to drop the stay-at-home (order) and every other restriction,” he said. “If you do that, we’re going to see a big spike upward and once again (of) hospitalizations, ICU beds filled, (ventilators) filled and more death.”
Pritzker is also urging event organizers to “think seriously about canceling large summer events. From my perspective, I just don’t see how we’re going to have large gatherings of people – again until we have a vaccine, which is months and months away – I would not risk having large groups of people getting together anywhere.”
Coronavirus Prevention Tips and Resources
Officials advise taking preventive measures to slow the spread of the virus, including:
—Washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water
—Using hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol
—Sneezing or coughing into a tissue and then disposing of the tissue
—Limiting contact with people regardless of how you feel
—Staying home when you are sick
Symptoms of COVID-19 include, but are not limited to:
—New onset of fever, cough, shortness of breath
—Congestion in the nasal sinuses or lungs
—Sore throat, body aches or unusual fatigue
If you think you have COVID-19:
Call you doctor before showing up at their office. If you have a medical emergency and need to call 911, tell the operator that you think you have COVID-19. If possible, wear a mask before medical help arrives or presenting at a doctor’s office. More advice for those who think they have COVID-19.
—Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
—Illinois’ COVID-19 website
—Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) website
—IDPH COVID-19 hotline: 800-889-3931
—IPDH COVID-19 email link
—City of Chicago COVID-19 website
—City of Chicago COVID-19 hotline: 312-746-4835
—City of Chicago COVID-19 email link